Updated: March 2020
With its stunning natural beauty, fascinating history, amazing wine, and delicious seafood, Croatia is easily one of my favorite destinations. Whatever your budget, whatever your interests, this is the place for you.
You can have a great time in Croatia at any time of year. Traditionally, this eastern European country’s travel periods are broken up into three seasons: high, low, and shoulder season. Before you book your dates, choose your theme!
Want a city break? A beach getaway? A spa retreat? Croatia has it. Here’s the best time to go to Croatia!
October to April
Croatia sees the fewest tourists from October to April. While it does get cold there, you can still have a fabulous time. The prices hit rock bottom throughout the country and it’s a perfect opportunity to have an ultra-luxe holiday for an incredible bargain. Go on a skiing sojourn. Enjoy a long, blissed-out spa stay.
Stay away from the Adriatic coast during the winter—you’ll find nothing but closed beaches and abandoned resorts. Head inland for the best winter adventure. Fly into Dubrovnik or Zagreb and see how the locals live.
While it may be the “low season,” Croatia is still poppin’ with activities—from the World Championship in Olive Picking (did you know there was such a thing?), to events surrounding Istria’s prized black and white truffles, and more!
Zigante Truffle Days are 10 fun-filled weekends in the fall—starting in September, so check out their calendar to find exact dates. Events include delicious tastings of local dishes and wines as well as truffle hunts!
Are you a total foodie? Check out the Good Food Festival in Dubrovnik which takes place in mid-October. There’s tons of decadent delights, street food, and beer, but the real star of the show is the Dubrovnik Table—a feast that takes place on the entire stretch of Stradun, the main pedestrian street in Old Town.
If you are fortunate enough to get to Croatia during Christmas, the New Year, or Carnival, you are in for a serious treat. Croatian festivals are always fun so be sure to search local calendars to maximize your trip!
When you aren’t partying it up, check out one of Croatia’s luxury hotel spas. During the winter, you can get pampered there for a fraction of the price that you would pay in North America or Europe.
Go for a massage, chill in a mud bath, sweat it out in a sauna.
When you are ready to get your blood pumping, go skiing for cheap! Croatia has a dozen ski resorts. If you decide to stay in Zagreb, be sure to check out Mount Sljeme.
Highlights: Christmas, New Years Eve and Carnival
June to August
Croatia’s travel season is at its peak in June, July and August. The weather is consistently sunny and warm. Looking for your own picture-perfect Mediterranean oasis?
Find a place for yourself on the luminous beaches of Hvar Island, Split, Korčula Island, and Dubrovnik. The afternoons are hot and the water is great for swimming.
Croatian summers are known for their rocking music festivals so be sure to hit at least one while you are there. There are countless options: the INmusic Festival and International Folklore Festival in Zagreb and the ULTRA Music Festival in Split are among the continent’s top picks.
The only downside to this time of year is that you’ll find yourself among a sea of tourists and you will end up paying the highest prices of the year. Ultimately, though, that’s what you’ll find on any quality beach during the summer and it is so worth it here!
Highlights: ULTRA Music Festival, INmusic Festival, and International Folklore Festival
May and September
The time on either side of the high season is what the pros call the “shoulder season.” This is definitely my favorite time to visit Croatia. During the month of May and again in September you will find truly perfect conditions.
While the weather isn’t quite as reliable as it is during the peak season, you can still enjoy warm days with minimal crowds and lower prices.
The beaches aren’t quite as hospitable in early summer and early autumn but that won’t stop you from having a great time! With temperatures pushing 100 degrees Fahrenheit during July and August, it can get overwhelming.
If you want to explore the cities or hike the spectacular countryside, you will definitely appreciate the cooler days.
Highlights: The Weather!
So, guys, what’s it going to be?
A mud bath in Zagreb or basking in the sun of Korčula Island? Whatever you pick, you are sure to fall in love with this remarkable Eastern European gem.